The hen weekend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
3 young women are going on a hen do while un-ordinary things occur...

Submitted: March 31, 2012

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Submitted: March 31, 2012

A A A

A A A


Hen Weekend

 

On February 28th 1967 a train crashed in Stetchford causing nine deaths and leaving sixteen injured, after a misunderstanding of hand signals.  Each time the train line is now used there is an eerie feel about it.

Here come the girls’ the trio sang harmoniously as they waited at the train station.  Dancing gleefully, they were waiting to board for a hen party weekend.  They dressed to impress and to bowl over any man in their sights, devilish scarlet knee length dresses with black tights and red five inch Jimmy Choo’s.  As the train pulled into the station the crowds looked with awe at the ruby woman as though watching a sunrise.

‘Champagne at the ready girls’ Sophia the chief bridesmaid whined in a high pitched voice.

‘Yes, let’s get ‘bladdered’ it’ll pass the time.’ Lorna said.

They enjoyed attention; loving the attention as usual.  They gave a little wiggle for the crowd to enjoy. On the train they glugged down the fizz, it effervesced at the back of their throats.

‘Girls we’re not going to be able to contain ourselves tonight if we carry on.’ Louisa (miss sensible) said.

‘Why do you have to spoil everything Louisa?’ Lorna asked, ‘It’s always you!’

A squabble escalated, intensely bickering at each other.  This sobered up the girls quickly.  They sat in silent for the next half an hour.  A chill began to spread across the carriage and the silence broke…

‘Can you find a way to flick the air conditioning off, Jane? Before we all catch pneumonia under this autumn air.’  Sophia roared.

‘It’s not on!’ Jane answered.

A flash of light appeared; they thought the light was caused by the train’s movement. The chill got stronger and the flashes halted, they saw a stature sitting on the other side of the carriage.  Blinking their eyes at a speed, they all thought they were hallucinating.

The figure remained and was in quiet.

‘Come and join our party.  Do you drink?’ Lorna asked.

In a panic the figure of peculiar attire sobbed silently.  Lorna reached out to this character with a packet of Kleenex.  The figure was wearing a grey shift style dress and sported a bobbed hair do.  An elegant fresh faced woman, with an innocent facet.

‘Are you going to a fancy dress? Is it in London and location?’  Lorna enquired in a rushed manner.

‘I’m going nowhere, I live on this train I have done since 1967,’ and this disconcerted the girls.  Now they could comprehend the woman’s dress sense.

‘I’m afraid to say, that I have bad news.’

‘Ha, mumbo, jumbo don’t believe in that bunkum.’  Louisa blurted.

‘Let’s hear it, it might save our lives.’  Lorna ordered.

‘The hotel you’re planning on staying in is going to have something happen there.  I’m unclear what, but I’m certain sirens and flashing blue lights will appear at the scene.’

‘Is it a fire then?’

‘As I said I’m unclear.’

The girls continued to knock the champagne back hastily, calming their nerves.

‘This is stupid we’re talking to a ghost, for heaven’s sake!’

‘It’s your funeral and if I had been warned about the crash I wouldn’t be here today.’  The ghost warned.

In a blink of an eye the ghost disappeared.  Their heads pounded repeatedly as quickly as a heartbeat, an intuition enforced to halt their drinking.  The train propelled on, only a few stations away from their destination; London Paddington.  As the train pulled into Euston station, the girls nervously listened to any announcements that might have proved the ghost to be correct.  People rushed across the platform.

‘Hello Stace, we’re here.  We’ll make way for the Hilton shortly, what number you at?’  Sophia hollered down her sassy Blackberry to the bride-to-be.

‘I have something funny to tell you, see you in a while.’

The girls paraded their stuff to gain observation as they passed by.  No one had mentioned the spirit’s caution, until Lorna said:

‘Maybe Caroline[1] had sent down the ghost, to guide us to safety’

(Caroline battled cancer for a year.  She had a brain tumour and is the sister of Lorna.)

‘Hokum, besides how would she know we were going to be on that train and she said she’s been living there since ’67.’ Louisa announced still being sensible.

They crossed the station to the tube; their destination was Paddington they waited for fifteen minutes; this delaying their arrival at the hotel before 5pm.

Heads turned as they strutted into the streets of Paddington, the passing drivers pushed their horns persistently.

Minutes later they entered the Hilton Hotel, within moments of signing in at reception there was huge bangs.  A mist of smoke filled the outside air; plaster fogged their vision.  Everyone glared at each other in trepidation, and then there was another crashing effect.  The walls began to crumble; the floors above began to collapse into the reception area.  Sparks of flames sizzled on the ground of the rubble.  Everyone who was in the reception managed to escape through the revolving doors. 

Sirens roared throughout Paddington; now the girls had to believe the ghost.  Lorna checked her watch and the second hand ticked at 5.30pm, their stomachs churned.  The security alarms rang hysterically around the town.  Then another thud; only this time explosions and fireworks emerged behind the building.

‘We have been lucky girls, but those poor people on the upper floors will suffer.’ Louisa indicated in a shaky voice.  ‘I’ll phone Stace to see if she’s alright.’

‘Hopefully she’ll be having her final dress fitting still,’ Sophia fretfully said.

‘Would everyone keep back please, we have to have a clear run for the bomb squad,’ a fireman established.

Louisa dialled Stacey’s number – it rang endlessly!

This scared the girls even more so.  All the other customers was panicking; taking photos of the scattered building.  Rumours started instantly, the main one was that they believed it had Al Qaeda’s name on it.

Tongues wagged diplomatically – impugning the government for their part in the Afghan war.  More honking of horns emerged, though for the first time in their lives they took no notice. 

Louisa and Lorna ran over the road to Starbucks to bring the others back refreshments, there was nothing much else to do.  (It was not in their interest anyhow.)

Sophia couldn’t contain herself; she decided to assist the emergency services in their duty to safeguard the hotel.

‘Over here dear.’ She insisted as they rescued some of the unfortunates who weren’t trapped under debris.  There were screams of despair from the wreckage.  The emergency services worked as quickly as they could.

‘Refreshments are on the way, so please keep warm’.  Sophia said as she pointed to a pile of grey blankets. 

As Louisa and Lorna, returned the crowd that had formed to investigate what the furore was about made it impossible to reach those in need.

‘Over here girls, over here!’ Sophia waved uncontrollably.  While the ruin was stripped back to search for injured and possibly deceased people, a familiar voice called out.

‘Help, I can’t feel my legs.’

They realised that Stacey was stuck and they feared the worse.

A light flashed before Lorna’s eyes; her usual rosy cheeks drained.  She visualised her sister on her death bed, how she wished she’d been there.  The services managed to find Stacey after about an hour.  Her right leg had to be amputated as it was trapped under the remains which triggered a blood clot.

‘That’s it girls I’m never going to walk down the aisle now’

‘Shhh stop being silly, you’ll probably be able to get a prosthetic leg; that’ll get you down the aisle.’ Sophia shouted.

‘At least you’re still with us.’  Lorna indicated.

She was finally freed, and transferred to an ambulance via a gurney.  Sophia accompanied her to the hospital; Lorna and Louisa continued to aid the services.

 

The mass of rubble looked a pile of bricks and dust in the dark hours as the news crew recorded the disastrous scenes.  It was bleak and dismal looking of the now not such a pretty hotel.

 

The girls visited Stacey in hospital, revealing the information that the ghost had given them to her.  ‘I theorised that she was sent from Caroline and I believe she is looking out for us.’  Lorna told her. ‘We should’ve taken her advice more seriously.’

‘We should have let you know sooner. Maybe you’d not be in this state now.’  Louisa confessed.

‘As I said girls, it’s all drivel.’  Sophia said. ‘We was partially sloshed it may have been our minds playing tricks on us.’

 

Scepticism results in peril; it does not cost much to have a little faith!

 



[1] Caroline is Lorna’s sister who died of cancer two years before.

 


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